Jessica and I flew back today from Kansas City, tired and full of meat. We ate a lot of meat on the trip. We had barbecue twice, burgers, chicken parmesan, breakfast sausages, and salads with meat on them. Even the beer has meat in it in Missouri. At least, I think it does. The barbecue was so good that even though I probably shouldn’t eat any more meat for the next month, I kind of want some right now. Like maybe some pulled pork and some ribs with some garlic bread on the side. And a few slices of the sausage from Jessica’s plate, because she always shares with me. She’s just so nice to me all the time.
There are so many delightful stories from the wedding that I thought I’d split them up into little “vignettes” instead of writing up one long, cumbersome, unwieldy, incommodious blog post. You know, out of respect for you, the reader, knowing full well you likely have the attention span that I have when “surfing the ‘net.” Which is to say, a short one. My e-attention span is so short that every time Drew asks me if I watched the video he posted on his blog, I redden in the face and admit that no, it appeared to be over 90 seconds long, and who has that kind of time?
I also took a lot of photos on the trip. I was snapping them left and right, up and down, for a lot of the trip. Sometimes – like a lot of folks who take photos – I tend to cross that line between enjoying what I’m doing and simply documenting it with photos. But once we got to the reception, I “shut it down” camera-style and didn’t take another shot the whole time. I took so many photos that one of Sam’s groomsmen Vicente, who looks EXACTLY LIKE GREG (more on that later) asked me during dinner just how many photos I’d logged. I told him, “as we say in California, hella photos.”
I thought I’d begin with Tom Walker, Jessica’s youngest brother, a man of kindly smiles and 3:00 am trips to Denny’s. He’s in my phone as “Tommy Walker Red.”
Here he is:
Tom has “cam-dar,” an innate ability to sense at all times when I’m taking a photo of him. Some call it a “cammy sense,” which tingles when a camera is detected nearby. When he spots me he rewards me with this type of look (above), and I spent the whole weekend searching for that elusive candid of him. I got a couple! That’ll show you, Tommy! Here’s one:
Anyway, Tom is great. He fits in everywhere and kids love him, which is the “Magic Two” of good-guy attributes. In a little over a year, he’s going to be my brother (in-law), along with Sam, and for the first time in my life, I’ll have brothers. And I’m pretty excited for those two guys to be my brothers.
As one of the groomsmen, Tom got to stride merrily down the aisle during the ceremony, arm in arm with a bridesmaid of some sort of equivalence. Since it was a Catholic wedding in a church, when the two of them got to the altar they bowed briefly, and proceeded to join the rest of their respective parties. Tom, having joined Vicente, Willie, and Jered, sat down and said quietly: “Nailed it.”
Then later, when the ceremony was finishing, he said: “Rocked that shit.”
I’d say that Tom both nailed it and rocked that shit all weekend long. Though when we first saw him, there was one part of him that wasn’t rocking any shit at all, and that was his hair. The night before he’d been unable to sleep, and instead decided to get out the shears and cut his own hair. Although it wasn’t a complete and utter disaster, it didn’t look great, and clearly needed to be fixed. The night we arrived we went out to a local bar in St. Joe called Norty’s, where we met up with Emily, Sam, and a couple of Jessica’s cousins. When we informed Emily of Tom’s haircut, he took off his hat and we all had a good laugh over it, but Emily was only half-laughing. Though Emily was remarkably calm, collected, and un-Bridezilla-like the entire trip, she did put her foot down a little this time.
“You’re going to get that cut again, right?” she asked Tom.
“Oh yeah, for sure,” he said.
“I dunno, sometime tomorrow.”
“OK. You’ll get up, and have breakfast. At noon you’re going to get your tux. In between, you’re going to get your hair cut.”
“Sounds good,” said Tom.
Emily added: “You’re on my time now.”
The day of the wedding, Sam and Emily and the bridal parties took some photos of everyone walking down the street. At some point, after most of the photos had been taken, someone noticed that Tom’s collar had been popped the whole time. “That’s probably one of those things that pisses you off now,” I said later, “but years from now when you’re looking through your photo album, you’ll think it’s hilarious.”
“Oh, we weren’t pissed,” Sam said. “We thought that was hilarious when it happened.”
Seeing how Sam has been welcomed into Emily’s family makes me grateful that I’ve been so accepted into Jessica’s, and her into mine. And having a new brother living not far away is going to be the icing on the cake. The wedding cake.